What to do and see in China
Places to visit in China (sightseeing):
- Beijing: capital of the People's Republic and a paradise of Chinese culture. Here you can visit the Forbidden City (old Imperial Palace) and Tiananmen Square, as well as numerous palaces, temples, parks and gardens, not to mention the installations of the 2008 Olympics.
- The Great Wall of China: at the height of the Ming Dynasty, it stretched 20,000 km from the border with Korea to the Gobi Desert, and was guarded by more than one million warriors. Today only 9,000 km of the wall remain, and it is truly one of the great wonders of the world! Try and visit less touristic sections of the wall, for the fewer the people the more spectacular it is.
- Shanghai: economic centre of China and the most European city in the country. Mix of modernity and tradition, it moves at a frenetic pace more reminiscent of a Western capital than the "Pearl of the Orient", as it was once called. Xi'an Warriors: famous terracotta army. Why it was sculpted we'll never know.
- Guilin and Yangshuo: spectacular landscapes formed by the gullies of the Li and Yulong Rivers and by the Longii rice paddies. Amazing place to experience rural China and learn about some of its ethnic minorities.
- Ancient City of Lijiang: perhaps one of the most beautiful cities in the world and also one of the least known. Full of canals and red Chinese lanterns, it looks like something out of fairy tale. From it you can visit Jade Dragon Glacier and Tiger Leaping Gorge.
- Chengdu: if you travel to China you have to visit Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre. Seeing the pandas play and eat is an experience you'll never forget.
- Datong: from here you can see the Yungang Buddhist Caves, known as the Chinese Petra.
- The Ancient City of Pingyao: reminiscent of a movie set, it's not hard to imagine what ancient Chinese life was like in this small, walled city during the Qing and Ming dynasties.
- If you don't want to miss anything in your trip around China, check our Suggested Itinerary.
What to do in China (attractions):
- Bicycle through Beijing: when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Beijing is enormous but very flat, so it's ideal for getting around by bike. Rent one and go from one end of the city to the other. You'll fit right in!
- Eat delicious Beijing duck: don't miss the opportunity to try some in the city from which it took its name.
- Go shopping in Shanghai: the greatest exponent of Chinese capitalism! Knock-offs and not-so knock-offs at amazing prices!
- Day trip by bike along the Li River in Guiling: a great way to experience rural China.
- Go up the Yulong River on a boat admiring the enormous rocky outcrops along its banks.
- Take a Chinese cooking class in Yangshuo.
- Haggle in the little shops in Lijiang: clothes and imitation jewellery in shops more Bohemian and alternative than in big cities at very good prices.